Blue chips buying lifts market

Buying interest in blue chips and index-linked counters helped lift shares on Bursa Malaysia today, despite opening lower in early session today.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished the day at 1,797.9, up 12.02 points, after fluctuating between 1,783.68 and 1,799.45 throughout the day.

The barometer index opened 0.96 of-a-point lower at 1,784.92 this morning and lost further ground thereafter as trading momentum was weighed down by the bearish sentiment in the United States.

Mercury Securities Research Head Edmund Tham said momentum on the local market picked up from 9:29 am onwards as bargain hunting emerged, lending support to prices from declining further.

"Sentiment in Bursa Malaysia is still positive but some investors are still in 'holiday mood' which is reflected by the thin trading volume in these few days.

"Volume is likely to pick up next week with fresh buying interest. As for now, investors are more on accumulating mode following recent losses," he told Bernama.

Another dealer said most Asian bourses staged rally today, as investors weighed earnings and data showing US service-industries growth against a weaker-than-expected private jobs report.

"Instead of putting more selling pressure, the local investors preferred to stay on the sidelines awaiting the important US non-farm payrolls data, to be released on Friday night," the dealer said.

On the scoreboard, the Finance Index soared 73.1 points for 16,469.43, the Plantation Index rose 51.54 points to 8,383.72 and the Industrial Index increased 37.12 points to 3,062.29.

The FBM Emas Index chalked up 73.01 points to 12,408.69, the FBMT100 Index bolstered 70.47 points to 12,117.68, the FBM 70 advanced 38.14 points to 13,629.82 and the FBM Ace gained 31.51 points to 6,048.18.

Market breadth was positive as gainers thumped losers 498 to 251, while 310 counters were unchanged, 534 untraded and 17 others were suspended.

Volume rose to 1.83 billion shares worth RM2.2 billion from 1.55 billion shares valued at RM1.63 billion recorded on Wednesday.

Among actives, Sumatec Resources earned two sen to 32 sen while IRIS Corp inched up half-a-sen to 45 sen.

For heavyweights, Maybank rose seven sen to RM9.70, TNB increased eight sen to RM11.44, CIMB added one sen to RM6.92 and Sime Darby soared 13 sen to RM8.95.

Axiata Group, however, was flat at RM6.50.

Main Market volume increased to 1.36 billion units worth RM2.07 billion, from 1.12 billion units worth RM1.51 billion on Wednesday.

Turnover on the ACE market slipped to 407.34 million shares worth RM119.97 million from yesterday's 409.02 million shares worth RM111.23 million.

Warrants expanded to 57.94 million units worth RM4.19 million from 20.42 million units worth RM2.30 million previously.

Consumer products accounted for 79.29 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products 303.48 million, construction 56.98 million, trade and services 567.22 million, technology 54.01 million, infrastructure 26.64 million, SPAC 27.07 million, finance 56.24 million, hotels 579,800, properties

147.8 million, plantations 25.42 million, mining 30,000, REITs 10.352 million and closed/fund 12,000.-- Bernama